TIBCO is thrilled to announce the acquisition of nanoscale.io. This is a company with some innovative technology in the area of microservices tooling, which is key to building a new class of applications focused on edge computing architecture, where more processing is done using microservices at the edge of the network, closer to the data source. I am really looking forward to having them as a member of the TIBCO family.
Uh, oh. I feel an analogy coming on. The cloud conversation always affects me that way. After all, the mother of all clouds is the Internet itself, and that’s been with us for decades. Sort of like the Earth’s atmosphere; it’s all encompassing and everywhere, but the clouds that occupy that space come in all shapes and sizes and impact what’s around them in very different ways.
Because we technical types just love buzzwords and lingo, I suppose it was inevitable that the cloud computing concept and terminology around it would expand. First we just had “the cloud”. That quickly expanded into public clouds and private clouds, and of course—hybrid clouds. And because the concept of a cloud isn’t abstract enough, we had to invent a whole new set of terminology that described what those clouds actually did. So now we have SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, iPaaS, VPC’s, XaaS, etc. And finally, we’re now seeing terminology emerge that takes the cloud concept a step further, into the world of fog and dew (edge computing terminology).
Joking aside, the expansion in cloud terminology represents a real expansion in scope of cloud computing to the edge. For IT professionals, it represents a long-term trend of continuous morphing of distributed computing software architecture. When you combine the impact of the exploding growth of smart devices and web enabled things (50B+ expected by 2020), you really begin to see the tremendous potential and impact of edge computing.
Which brings us back to the topic of this blog.
This edge transition requires a new class of applications that span internal and external services, runs in the datacenter or public cloud, works with devices that are not always connected, and may have app functionality embedded in edge devices as well. These apps are also very dependent on the use of APIs to enable this distributed connectivity and on microservices that require a tiny footprint to provide the level of scale, agility, and distributed processing that edge architecture requires.
If you haven’t been following edge computing very closely, here’s how Wikipedia describes it:
“Edge computing is a method of optimizing cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data. This reduces the communications bandwidth needed between sensors and the central data center by performing analytics and knowledge generation at or near the source of the data. This approach requires leveraging resources that may not be continuously connected to a network such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and sensors. Edge Computing covers a wide range of technologies including wireless sensor networks, mobile data acquisition, mobile signature analysis, cooperative distributed peer-to-peer ad hoc networking and processing also classifiable as local cloud/fog computing and grid/mesh computing, dew computing, mobile edge computing, cloudlet, distributed data storage and retrieval, autonomic self-healing networks, remote cloud services, augmented reality, and more.”
Nanoscale.io is a great fit for these edge application styles built around microservices and APIs. It’s language independent, which means you can “bring your own code” and develop your microservices in any language you choose to use, including polyglot development. You can also deploy microservices to the most environments out there, including Linux, ARM, Windows, and MacOS.
Given the dynamic and constantly evolving nature of digital business, edge architecture requires the ability to mix and match a lot of different technologies and to easily and quickly modify these connection points to respond to changes in the business. Nanoscale.io seems to have internalized these concepts very well in the way they’ve developed their tooling.
There’s still a lot of experimenting going on when it comes to building microservices. Agreed upon best practices and methodologies are pretty spotty at this point. It’s fairly chaotic for developers today and they’re pretty much left on their own to cobble together a menagerie of tools to build, test, integrate, interconnect, package as APIs, and deploy the microservices to whatever runtimes they need to support in their IT environment.
One of the great things about the nanoscale.io tooling is that they provide a single integrated environment to do all of this and have abstracted a lot of this complexity away from the developer.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty psyched about this acquisition and our customers should be too. Life is about to get a lot easier for you if you work with microservices, are focused on edge architecture, or are trying to integrate microservices into your overall IT infrastructure.
In the coming weeks and months, as we solidify our product plans for how we will incorporate nanoscale.io tooling into the TIBCO portfolio, we’ll have a lot more to say on this topic. Check back occasionally for an update. If you’re interested in learning more about what they do, or better yet, trying out the product for yourself, you can go to http://www.nanoscale.io/ to learn more.